PROVO—Lawrence Davis, BYU’s Commissioner of Education announced earlier today that the proposed plans for an additional campus in Southern California have gained church approval and classes will begin August 2014.
Counting the centers in Jerusalem and Salt Lake City, this will be the sixth BYU campus worldwide, and is expected to surpass the Provo campus in enrollment by 2020.
“Each campus has its own unique identity,” comments Russell R. Madsen of the planning committee. “Jerusalem offers students a chance to explore the Holy Land, Hawaii provides a rich cultural experience with the Pacific islands, Rexburg is for people who want to get married and Provo is for students who actually want to get an education. We’re hoping that BYU – California will be a place where the rich California kids can get a degree without having to work hard or travel far.”
BYU reports that since the announcement was made, enrollment for the upcoming winter semester at Provo and Rexburg has dropped by nearly 40%. Many students have opted to delay a semester and wait to enroll at the new campus. “Seriously, though, I’m out of here,” reports senior Kevin Bjorkman. “When I heard the announcement, I thought it’d be a terrible idea to skip out on my senior year of Chemical Engineering here at the Y. Then the snowstorm came and I thought, ‘Screw it, I’m going to California.’”
Although most courses offered at BYU – Provo will be available at the new campus, the university has acknowledged that some majors will not be available until 2016.
“Exercise Science and Elementary Education will both be offered at BYU – California,” Davis explained via email. “We’ve had about two hundred requests each for those, but curiously enough we haven’t gotten any questions about other majors yet.”
The official BYU crest, which bears the insignia “The glory of God is intelligence,” is currently being translated into local dialect. Locals are eager as to which dialect will be featured—traditional (La Gloria de Dios es la inteligencia) or modern (Learning is so chill, bro!).